Orchestra of the Swan releases its 2023/24 season featuring the uniquely gifted, mind-altering worlds of Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Martinů, Handel, Rebel, Biber, Hildegard von Bingen, Gesualdo, Satie, Wagner, Mahler, Puccini and Mozart, to name but a few; musical pioneers all, who were ahead of their time and created sublime masterpieces.
Classical Music, despite appearances to the contrary, is a revolutionary art form created by a host of subversive renegades and visionaries. To illustrate this, Orchestra of the Swan and Artistic Director David Le Page welcome back their Principal Conductor Michael Collins for four thrilling concerts featuring soloists Xuefei Yang and Jeneba Kanneh-Mason and announce the appointment of Rebecca Miller as Principal Guest Conductor, performing alongside Roderick Williams, Samantha Hay, William Towers, Nicholas Mulroy and David John Pike. David Le Page will direct from the violin for a pioneering series of cross-genre concerts featuring soloists Matthew Barley, David Gordon, Matthew Sharp and Jackie Oates. From their new home at Warwick Hall, their new Warwick Schools Foundation residency, The Swan radiates across the region bringing their fresh, unique, and vibrant approach to Warwick, Hereford, Stratford upon Avon and Pershore.
Neoclassic, the first mainstream concert of the season sees Michael Collins and Xuefei Yang perform Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez in Warwick and Hereford on 12 & 13 October 2023, marking the 25th anniversary of Rodrigo’s death, programmed alongside Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks, Prokofiev Classical Symphony, and two guitar classics by Albéniz and Tárrega.
Michael Collins appears next on 8 and 9th February in Warwick and Hereford alongside Jeneba Kanneh-Mason for Pictures at an Exhibition, featuring Mozart Piano Concerto No.23 alongside Arensky Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky’s masterpiece, inspired by the paintings of Viktor Hartmann, arranged for chamber orchestra by Pierre-Alain Monot.
Rebecca Miller joins the Swan as our Principal Guest Conductor to conduct two concerts: Handel Messiah on 9 December 2023 in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon, the burial site of Shakespeare himself, with soloists Samantha Hay, William Towers, Nicholas Mulroy, David John Pike and the Orchestra of the Swan Chamber Choir; and Songs of Innocence and Experience on 27 June 2024 in Warwick Hall, with celebrity baritone Roderick Williams performing Mahler Rűckert-Lieder alongside Wagner Prelude and Liebestod, Puccini Chrisantemi and Mozart Symphony No.40.
David Le Page directs three Night Owl concerts in the Stratford Playhouse from the violin: From Bach to Barber. Via Brazil on 14 November 2023, an orchestral journey that uncovers links between the music of Argentina, Brazil, North America and Europe connected by fragments of improvisation with virtuoso cellist and improvisor Matthew Barley; Revolutionaries, Renegades and Visionaries on 27 February 2024 combining innovative 20th century artists John Lennon, Rebel, Delia Derbyshire, Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix with sound pioneers Purcell, Shostakovich, Strozzi, Biber, Cage, Piazzolla and Beethoven, linked with readings by Zadie Smith, Gertrude Stein, William Blake, James Joyce and Mary Wollstonecraft; and Metamorphoses on 19th June 2024, combining Britten’s 6 Metamorphoses after Ovid with Bach, Philip Glass, Handel and Buxtehude featuring soloist Victoria Brawn, and linked with readings and poetry by Shakespeare, Keats, Kafka, Stevenson and Woolf.
In Rococo, Cellist Matthew Sharp performs two fiery sets of variations for cello and orchestra in two new arrangements by David Le Page – Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme and Martinů Variations on a Theme by Rossini on 27 September 2023 in Stratford Town Hall, alongside Dvořák’s radiant Serenade for Strings.
Midwinter sees an intriguing tapestry of winter music and words from the 12th century to the present day performed across Warwickshire and Worcestershire from 30 November to 15 December 2023, directed by David Le Page.
Entranced on 11 April 2024 in Holy Trinity Church offers the opportunity for our streaming audience to hear our mixtape album approach by candlelight, again directed by David Le Page, featuring ambient classics such as Pink Floyd’s Great Gig in the Sky, Brian Eno’s An Ending (Ascent) and Radiohead’s Pyramid Song alongside timeless compositions by Satie, Vivaldi, Bach, Max Richter, Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt.
Earthcycle on 3 May 2024 at the Hereford Courtyard, is a unique concert experience that highlights climate change whilst celebrating nature and our place within it. Marking the 300th anniversary of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with a compelling new version by baroque/jazz musician and composer David Gordon, featuring guest artists folk singer Jackie Oates and violinist David Le Page, enhanced by discreet lighting and contextual film footage.
On 1 November 2023, The Swan presents Revolting Rhymes with Toyah Willcox at the Hereford Courtyard Family Festival, featuring two classic tales Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs, wickedly retold by Roald Dahl and set to a brilliant score by renowned composer Paul Patterson, conducted by Andrew Griffiths.
To view the whole season or book head over here.